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January 6, 2022
Avatar for Dr. MingusDr. Mingus

Did you know that smiling has both emotional and physical benefits? It can help reduce stress, improve your mood and even make you look younger.

But what if you don’t like your smile because it is dark or discolored? 

If your smile has changed color, it can make you feel self-conscious or bad about yourself. You’re not alone, though. According to a poll conducted by OnePoll, more than half of Americans do not like their smile. 

If you don’t like your smile, you may find yourself avoiding selfies, not smiling in family photos or even backing away from job interviews and relationships. If this sounds like you, your smile may need some professional help through cosmetic dentistry services. 

A Widespread Problem

As many as 62 percent of people ages 25 to 44 admit to covering their mouths when they laugh, while about 20 percent of people 45 and up do the same. Feeling bad about how your smile looks can negatively affect your self-esteem, causing you to avoid others.

According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists, nearly one-third of adults have discoloration on their teeth. And according to another study published by the Journal of Periodontology, one out of every 10 people suffers from tooth discoloration. Many of these individuals want whiter teeth.

Reasons People Don’t Like Their Smiles

There are several reasons people can feel self-conscious about the appearance of their smiles, including:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • A bad bite
  • An uneven smile line
  • Teeth that are too long
  • Tooth discoloration

The Causes of Tooth Discoloration

There are many reasons teeth may become discolored over time. Some of the most common causes include:

Poor oral hygiene. This includes not brushing and flossing enough to remove plaque buildup from between your teeth.

Medications. Certain medications including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, birth control pills and antidepressants can cause tooth staining.

Tobacco use. Smoking tobacco stains teeth by depositing nicotine in the mouth.

Dental treatments. Bleaching can stain teeth temporarily. In some cases, this can be a permanent change.

Foods. Foods such as coffee, tea, red wine, cola drinks and chocolate all contain tannins that can darken teeth over time.

Certain medical conditions. Conditions such as diabetes, gout, kidney disease and liver disease can also lead to tooth discoloration.

Aging. As we get older, our enamel naturally begins to wear down. When this happens, our teeth appear darker.

Do You Smile in Pictures?

If you’re not smiling in pictures and social situations, or you find yourself avoiding relationships because your smile is discolored or darkened, don’t despair. 

We can help. We offer patients professional tooth-whitening services to help whiten and brighten their smiles. 

Why Whiten Your Teeth? 

Professionally whitening your teeth helps make them brighter and whiter for a longer period of time. Our professional whitening gel system gently removes surface stains while leaving healthy tooth structure intact. The result is a beautiful smile that lasts for years!

How Does Professional Tooth Whitening Work?

Professional tooth whitening gives you a whiter smile by removing surface stains with a special whitening gel. Once applied, the gel penetrates into the porous surfaces of your teeth. Over time, the gel continues to work its magic on the stained areas until they are completely bleached — up to 10 shades. It’s fast, effective and affordable.

Professional Whitening Vs. At-Home Whitening

At-home whiteners typically rely on peroxide to bleach teeth. While these kits do effectively lighten teeth, they often leave behind an unpleasant aftertaste. They can also damage sensitive tooth structures.

Professional whitening uses a safe, non-peroxide formula that doesn’t harm the enamel or dentin. Instead, it simply fades away surface stains without damaging the underlying tooth structure. Some over-the-counter products can cause gingival irritation and extreme tooth sensitivity. Some tooth-whitening products available online can also cause damage to your tooth enamel, which can contribute to the development of tooth decay. 

How Long Does Professional Whitening Last? 

Professional whitening should keep your smile bright and white for six months or more, depending on a few factors. You can help keep your smile bright by:

  • Avoiding foods that stain your teeth
  • Brushing twice daily with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing regularly
  • Keeping your teeth clean
  • Visiting the dentist at least twice a year

Can Tooth Whitening Be Combined With Other Cosmetic Treatments? 

Yes, tooth whitening can be combined with other cosmetic procedures like veneers, crowns, bonding and dental implants.

What Are My Options for Whitening My Teeth?

There are many ways to achieve a whiter smile. If you’d like to learn about your options, schedule a consultation today. 

Tooth-Whitening Consultation

The first step toward a whiter smile is scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced team members. During the consultation, Dr. Mingus will evaluate your smile and talk to your about your smile goals, explain the whitening process and answer any questions you have about the process.